Google Gets Another Chance To Operate In China For One Year

Google’s relationship with the government of China has been a tad tense over the past couple of years. There have been accusations of state-sponsored hacking, interference with access to services, and, of course, Google’s flat-out refusal to censor search results. China also wasn’t pleased with the introduction of Google Plus in Gmail this summer, which shouldn’t have come as a surprise. The Chinese government is widely regarded as being afraid of social networks and some officials even believe that they are being used by the U.S. to destabilize China.
But despite those fears and tensions with Google, a government spokesperson has announced that the license Google requires to continue operations within Chinese borders has been renewed for another year. China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology stated that the Google license was one of more than a hundred that were renewed following “adjustments” to operations, though no details about those changes were given.

It’s worth noting that the Internet content license doesn’t actually belong to Google, and that could very well have something to do with the renewal. The license actually belongs to a Chinese partner who works with Google, since the Ministry doesn’t allow foreign companies to own such licenses. Since the spat began, Google’s presence in China has diminished greatly. Its search market share has been devoured by Baidu, who now has its sights set on Google Chrome and Android. Baidu recently announced the Baidu Yi mobile operating system, which will begin shipping on Dell tablets and smartphones in China in the near future.

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